News Bites

Airbus announced it will soon begin producing airline parts using 3D printing. A titanium door component for A350 aircraft will be the first, reducing weight by around 4kg (8.8 pounds).

A new law is set to force airlines operating in Germany to verify the identity of passengers as they board their aircraft. Checks of passports and ID cards at departure gates are currently voluntary.

The US owner of the German concrete-maker Xella is considering taking it public. Investor Lone Star could launch an IPO early next year, Reuters has learned.

The supermarket chain Rewe said it would be happy to buy unusually shaped or colored fruit and vegetables from farmers this autumn to help them ride out the current drought. The lack of rain has affected the growth of fresh produce.

BMW’s independent German dealerships refused to sign a new contract with the luxury carmaker, saying it would hit their earnings. They want to negotiate a better deal.

Carmaker Opel, part of Peugeot maker PSA, is considering stopping production on several days in October due to falling orders. The number of cars completed per hour will also soon be cut from 42 to 35, sources said. (VRM)

A Munich judge opening a trial between Apple and Qualcomm over patents suggested they settle their dispute out of court or in arbitration because holding trials in several venues simultaneously won’t achieve their goal. (DPA)

Assault on battery

EU backs German plan to subsidize e-car battery production

Berlin won support from the European Union to fund the production of electric car batteries to overcome companies' reticence to invest in a sector dominated by Asia.

Fuel from Wind

Germany aims to take lead on fuels made with green power

A new industrial alliance aims to boost development and production of synthetic fuels made with renewable energy. Experts say that otherwise, Germany will miss its CO2 reduction targets.

Union Jack's

Tesco throws down gauntlet to Aldi and Lidl

Germany’s discount food retailers have doubled their market share in Britain in just five years, worrying the major supermarkets. Now Tesco plans to beat them at their own game, with a cut-price chain called Jack’s.

Gasolinegate?

EU expands emissions probe of German carmakers

The European Commission is extending its probe into collusion over emissions rigging to include gasoline engines. The move could hugely increase German carmakers' exposure to fines.

SME Power

Mittelstand

Volkswagen, Bayer and Adidas are household names. But more than 95 percent of Germany's economy is generated by lesser-known firms that aren’t listed on the blue-chip DAX Index.

Even pricier

Starbucks to make German outlets chicer together with Amrest

Starbucks is feeling the heat from global rivals and is responding by going upmarket. In Germany, it’s trying to resume its stalled growth with the help of Polish catering group Amrest.

ruhrgebiet, ruhr valley, german startups

Watch Out, Berlin

Could the Ruhr area be Germany’s next startup hot spot?

The Ruhr Valley gave Germany its first industrial revolution; now entrepreneurs want to launch a new one. The advantages are great, but so are the hurdles.

DAX

Profit and Loss Check

Once a year, we take a critical look at the financial health of selected German blue-chip companies around the time of their annual shareholders' meetings.

GM’s legacy

Opel still floundering under PSA control

Forget Opel’s first profit in two decades: Under its new French owner, the former GM-owned carmaker is losing staff, its development center has fewer contracts and its market share is shriveling.

Andreas Tilp

The lawyer suing VW on behalf of 3,500 investors

The man taking on the world’s biggest carmaker helped implement a German version of class-action lawsuits. He has already successfully used the law against Deutsche Telekom and Hypo Real Estate.

Digital slowpoke

German business sounds the alarm on 5G networks

More than 20 German CEOs are calling for faster development of 5G networks. Without a comprehensive infrastructure, Germany’s international competitiveness will evaporate, they say.

The virtual you

German online ID startups ready to take on US titans

Three startups plan to snatch a slice of the growing online identification market from Facebook and Google. They’re banking on Germany’s reputation for data privacy.

Mr. LeFloid, please

ProSiebenSat.1 tunes in LeFloid Youtube series commissioned by Google

Pro Sieben Sat.1 has just produced a paid-content Youtube series commissioned by Google. It’s part of a strategy to lessen its dependence on conventional TV advertising — and to square up to Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Women in business

Gender quotas make an impact in the boardroom

Germany’s gender representation law is starting to bite, with significantly more women on company boards than three years ago. But senior management remains overwhelmingly male.

Speed It Up

Auto giants push into mobility services market

Undaunted by the muscle of Uber and Google, German startups, backed by auto giants VW, Daimler and BMW, are trying to shape the future of mobility.

Banding together

VW’s Dieselgate victims set to pioneer class action lawsuits in Germany

A new German law permitting class action lawsuits could see up to two million aggrieved Volkswagen drivers take the carmaker to task over the emissions-rigging scandal.

German Connection

French industry has a preference for Germany

Despite President Macron’s efforts to liberalize the French economy, French companies are spending money, making acquisitions and conducting research and development next door instead.

Not buying it

For German automakers, the Chinese gold rush is ending

Cars sales in China fell for the third straight month in August. Both the trade war and an aging market are to blame – that’s bad news for German automakers.

Your cheatin' heart

Seized documents support allegations of collusion in Dieselgate

Investigators now believe German carmakers colluded to sell diesel cars that cheated on emissions. An additive -- AdBlue -- is the star in the inquiries.

Winter is coming

Volkswagen shareholders get their day in court

A key lawsuit begins today as investors claim they were deceived over Dieselgate, giving rise to losses of €9 billion. The carmaker insists they were fairly informed.

courting trouble

How Germany’s version of the class-action lawsuit functions

The VW investor lawsuit looks like a US-style class action but it isn't. The possibilities for suing companies are more limited in Germany, though they're changing.

Hanging up

T-Systems management, employees agree on layoffs

The CEO of Deutsche Telekom's computer services unit wanted 6,000 job cuts in Germany to stanch more than a decade of losses. Employees seem to agree.

under pressure

Aldi Nord boss steps down amid major overhaul at discounter

Marc Heussinger has resigned from Aldi Nord and is likely to be replaced by his deputy, Torsten Hufnagel. As the company prepares for a spurt of growth, there will be plenty on his plate.

Capitalist invaders

Activist investors shake up German complacency

Once a rarity in Germany, activist investors are muscling their way into more boardrooms to uproot lazy management habits and boost shareholder value.

LNG imports

Ports compete to build ‘white elephant’ gas terminal

Under pressure from Donald Trump, Germany wants to import more American liquefied gas, and three German cities are competing to build a new terminal. But there may never be enough demand to justify it.

Premium Aerotec

Airbus delays sale of fuselage unit despite high interest

The German-based first-tier supplier attracted investors from KKR to China’s Comac. But Airbus wants to wait, saying its new leadership team will make the decision.

Tiring stuff

Contretemps at Conti as boss blames execs for flat performance

After two profit warnings, Continental's boss told his managers he has no further truck with excuses. With two possible listings ahead, the pressure is on the German car-parts maker and on its CEO.

Emergency measures

German companies prepare for hard Brexit

With just 200 days to go before Britain leaves the European Union, German businesses seem to be better prepared for a hard Brexit than the British government. But it's not plain sailing.

Prime customer

Mercedes makes America great again

Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz, is opening a new assembly line for Sprinter vans in South Carolina. The carmaker has already bagged a giant order from Amazon.